February 25, 2020
For many educational service providers, the US education system is the focus of their strategic growth plans because of the size of the market. Every imaginable market segment can be found in the US market no matter the niche: public and private schools, urban and rural districts, charter schools, special needs education, etc. However, the reality of building awareness, finding leads, making an impact, and establishing a base of business may take years. Many established educational providers have built their brands and are trying to expand their base of revenue with product extensions. Often the find they are challenged as the start-up in this space. Expanding globally provides organizations the opportunities to reach new customers, gain new revenue, and impact the global education system.
No doubt, you have seen start-ups from Finland, Australia, New Zealand, India, and the UK market their products or services to the Middle East or China. This business strategy was implemented because they recognized the value of the global market in education. Increasing numbers of organizations are willing to look beyond the US and to the English language international schools market because of the relatively untapped potential of these markets.
Advancing Global EDU is fortunate to work with ISC Research which provides the most up-to-date research about the international education market, as well as extensive database services for your marketing needs. Their research was crucial in the writing of this blog post.
What is an International School?
An international school is a school that provides a high-level quality of education that meets international standards in an international environment. They either follow a curriculum like the International Baccalaureate program or follow a national curriculum like the American Common Core or British National Curriculum, which often differ from the host country.
International schools are renowned for their high-quality curricula which better reflect educational best practices, including immersive curricula, smaller class sizes, better trained educators, etc.
As a result of globalization, the ease of moving between countries, and the demand for foreign university degrees, international schools are witnessing a surge in demand. These schools cater not only to children of foreign expats, but also to the children of wealthy locals.
The international school market has grown tremendously to more than 10,000 schools. This is a 73% increase from 2010 when there were approximately 6,000 international schools that delivered education in English and the native language(s) spoken in the school’s host country. With more than 540,000 full-time teaching staff and tuition reaching $49.9 billion USD in 2019, the market continues to grow steadily. According to ISC Research, by 2028 the number of schools will increase to over 16,500 schools and will server almost ten million students.
The English language curriculum dominates the international school market, whether it is taught to students wholly or as a second language. This means there is not only a tremendous need for English language solutions, but Common Core, NextGen Science, International Baccalaureate, and National Curriculum of Britain focused curriculum solutions. Keep in mind that curriculum solutions are not the only items schools need in this market. With new schools being built, hardware, furniture, and school management technology is also needed.
Education suppliers can be successful by providing proven solutions that are immediately impactful and help these schools meet the aims of their curriculum.
Leverage on a Rapidly Growing Market
A decade ago, the majority of international school enrollments were children from expatriate families. Today, that is no longer the case. With an improving global economy and increasing wages, a large percentage of student enrollment now come from local families and this has caused bilingual education to increase tremendously.
There is also a growing trend where international schools charge lower fees to the local population so they can better cater to the education needs of their home country. These schools have been receiving increased funding from their local governments, especially in developing countries where these governments see the opportunities a K-12 international education would provide its citizens.
As the international school market continues to grow, the opportunities for reputable international suppliers is increasing. These schools will demand the best in educational services, technology, curriculum, and professional development to distinguish themselves from their competitors.
So how do you plan to take advantage of this market?
Be sure to incorporate global strategies into your overall vision of your business strategy. Address your business’ goals for each new foreign market you want to expand into. Working with a partner like Advancing Global EDU provides a variety of Go-To-Market Global Market expansion solutions and can help you streamline the process and expand overseas today.
Contact us to see how we can help you.
George DeBakey, Advancing Global EDU's Head of Internal Business Development will be in the Middle in February and March of 2020 visiting International Schools in the region. George frequently travels internationally for our clients.
Mike Campbell, Advancing Global EDU's President will be in Dubai, February 24 - 28 for the annual GESS Dubai conference.
Schedule a meeting with George or Michael